Activated charcoal has been used since ancient times and was an important part of both traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine. While most people associated charcoal with the making of fire, it has other beneficial uses, such as the ability to absorb the majority of chemicals, poisons or toxins which are hazardous to the body.

How Powerful Is Activated Charcoal?

Consider this. In 1831, the professor at the French Medical Academy consumed a drink laced with strychnine, which is normally lethal, but didn’t die, because he mixed it with charcoal that was activated. It can be used as an alternative to toothpaste, among other things, and is something anyone interested in alternative medicine should have stocked away.

What Is Activated Charcoal?

It must be emphasized that activated charcoal is not the same as the charcoal you buy in the store that is used for outdoor barbecues. Activated charcoal instead contains ingredients such as coal, bamboo or wood that is burned free of oxygen to produce char. This char will then be exposed to high temperatures and certain gases through a series of steps which will result in it becoming exceptionally porous. This is where the name “activated” comes from.

Once the charcoal has been activated, the greater molecule surface area will result in a strong bind with virtually any substance. The adsorption process is the primary characteristic that makes this charcoal so potent. Authentic activated charcoal will be free of toxins, odor or taste.

Benefits Of Using Activated Charcoal

There are three key benefits you will gain by using activated charcoal. The first, as previously stated, is its ability to ward off poisons. This isn’t limited to strychnine, with many researchers considering it to be the strongest decontaminant of the GI tract known to man. It is capable of absorbing as much as sixty percent of substances entering the stomach which are unwanted when taken rapidly after ingestion, and its effectiveness may last for up to two hours after being ingested.

When it comes to poison removal, activated charcoal is considered to be superior to stomach pumping or ipecac syrup, the two other techniques used. This is because it will bind to and eliminate the poison even once it has gone into the blood stream. The second benefit of activated charcoal is its usage for dental health. When combined with toothpaste it will bind to bacteria in the same manner it attaches itself to poison and will remove it from the mouth. Activated charcoal will also whiten the teeth naturally.

The third and final benefit of activated charcoal is its cosmetic characteristics. The reason for this is because it can eliminate chemicals, dirt and bacteria which build up in the skin over time. As such, savvy users will combine it with their scrub or face wash. It can be applied directly to the skin, but is slightly abrasively so should be used sparingly.